The Provincial Government of Zambales (PGZ), in collaboration with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), conducted a Joint Organizational Meeting of its Local Special Bodies (LSBs) on October 25, 2022 at Balin Sambali, Iba, Zambales.
The activity was attended by the members of the Provincial Development Council (PDC), Provincial Health Board (PHB), Provincial School Board (PScB), Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) and Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC)—all chaired by Governor Hermogenes E. Ebdane Jr.
In his message, Governor Ebdane highlighted the importance of this undertaking in order to harmonize the various efforts of the councils and committees to ensure closer and strategic coordination in the implementation of the local programs and projects.
Cluster Team Leader Melissa D. Nipal discussed the roles and functions of the Local Special Bodies (LSBs) to which the CSOs are also participating, that is to promote for a more inclusive partnerships in local governance and development. Likewise, an update on the program accomplishments of each local special bodies were presented by their respective head secretariat.
On socio-economic development efforts, Engr. Edwin E. Ebdane, OIC-Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator, presented the LDC initiatives and ways forward to ensure that the needs of the constituents in crafting local government policies, plans and programs are effectively addressed.
On education-related concerns, Ms. Michelle A. Mejica of the Department of Education (DepEd) discussed the activities conducted on the operation and maintenance of public schools and education promotion corresponding to its share of the proceeds of the special levy on Real Property constituting the Special Education Fund (SEF) for the 1st and 2nd Quarter of year 2022.
On safety and health, Dr. Noel C. Bueno, Provincial Health Officer (PHO) presented the overall situation of the province when it comes to the operation and maintenance of health facilities and services. With regard to the COVID-19 situationer, Dr. Bueno mentioned that Zambales remained to be one of those provinces with the least active cases in Central Luzon.
On peace and order, DILG Provincial Director Martin Porres B. Moral presented the updates on the crafting of the Provincial Peace and Order and Public Safety Plan (POPS-PLAN), and updates on the implementation of various DILG PPAs; Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP), Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) and projects funded under the FY 2022 Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP).
On anti-illegal drug abuse campaign, PltCol Nelson G Buhong of the Zambales Provincial Police Office (ZPPO) shared the sustained efforts on anti-illegal drug advocacies of the PNP and partner agencies in favor of demand reduction, rehabilitation of drug users and their reintegration into society, other community-based interventions and information drives.
The meeting was capped off with the discussion to decide on the schedule of the regular meetings and venue for each council required by the law.
The LSBs, as mandated by the Local Government Code of 1991 and other laws, rules and regulations, provide avenues for meaningful participation through organized representation in various decision-making processes at the local government level.